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Thread: Confused about toddler feeding at night

  1. #1
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    Default Confused about toddler feeding at night

    My little one (14 months) still wakes up about three times at night to feed. Actually she hasn't ever really slept through the night. After a lot of feedback from several people on how she does not really need to feed (for nutritional reasons) at night anymore, I asked my pediatrician for a medical opinion. He agreed with this and suggested that I should stop breastfeeding her altogether as she was "addicted" to the breast. During the day she has three breastfeeds, three meals and a snack. I am really confused about what to do. Is it normal for toddlers to get up to feed every night? If we don't do anything about it, does it stop on its own or do toddlers really get addicted and have difficulty stopping later? And how long do toddlers sleep without some sort of a meal/feed? What have others experienced?

  2. #2
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    Jan 2007
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    Default Re: Confused about toddler feeding at night

    Oh Wow, the following is my opinion...
    If I went to our doc and he said that to me...I'd walk out after telling him off. Addicted?! *LMAO* That's ridiculous.
    My LO is 12 months old and he still nurses through the night, granted I am going to start night weaning soon, but there's absolutely no need to wean completely. Do you co sleep with your LO? We started co sleeping late in the game and my LO is waking anywhere from 3-6 times a night but sometimes if I can tell he's starting to stir I pat him on the back or butt and he goes back to sleep. I've also noticed he keeps a hand or foot on me to make sure I'm still there.

    And let me be the first to say
    Mama to Evan Born February 1st 2007 Breastfeeding for a year...thinking of weaning
    Wife to my Best Friend KR



  3. #3
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    Jun 2007
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    Default Re: Confused about toddler feeding at night

    I was wondering the same thing about how long LO can go without a meal. My 11.5 mo goes to sleep at 7:-7:30 and eats at 3:-4:00 and wakes up for the day at 6. Is it possible for him to go without the 3:-4:00 feeding?

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Confused about toddler feeding at night



    Well, to me addiction implies something done to the detriment of the user. Frankly, nursing is of no detriment to my child or me. (JMO) There are many benefits to extended nursing (even continued night nursing.)

    Now - if you are looking to get baby off for your own family reasons, that is another story. He is "old enough", that since you're providing him with unlimited access through-out the day (right? or is 3 your set 'limit' does he get any cow/soy milk for his fat needs?) - it wouldn't hurt him to be night weaned. All this being said since your child is over 1 year.

    A helpful link for one method of night weaning can be found here.
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  5. #5
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    Default Re: Confused about toddler feeding at night

    At 14 mos. my DD still nurses every 2 hours, round the clock. I believe that she will eventually outgrow this need on her own, given the time to do so, and am committed to do everything in my power to see it through. You have to decide for yourself what you are willing to do, but know that your LO is not alone in night waking still!

  6. #6
    Join Date
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    Default Re: Confused about toddler feeding at night

    LOL, in case you hadn't noticed, breastfeeding isn't purely about calories. Sure a LO this age doesn't NEED to nurse at night for nutrition, but WANT to for comfort. There's nothing wrong with that. It's pretty dependent on the baby. I have twins, one sleeps like a rock most of the time in her crib and rarely nurses at night, the other gets up at least twice a night and is usually in bed with us from midnight on. She only nursed twice last night and that was really good for her. She's higher maintenance in general, and would be whether she were nursing or not. My LC warned me about peds like yours that think a baby shouldn't be sucking on anything for comfort past 18 months. There's no medical basis for it.

    I was questioning whether we should night wean her but seeing how often everyone else's LOs still nurse at night and during the day I'm not going to stress over it. I want the decision to wean to be up to them.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Confused about toddler feeding at night

    That was a great article! It's the first time I have read something that made sense from all perspectives! Thanks!


    My ds is 13mo. and still gets up 2 times per night. We do have some sleep through streaks, which we are not currently on, but we also have streajks where he gets up more. For me, I am not at my breaking point so I keep doing it, but now I have a new method for when I am ready to night wean.
    Kelly

    Mommy to Gabriel born 12/25/06 Breastfed 12/25/06 - 12/09 and possibly here and there still
    Madelyn born 9/24/09 delivered at home and caught by my husband

    "To put the world right in order, we must first put the nation in order; to put the nation in order, we must first put the family in order; to put the family in order, we must first cultivate our personal life; we must first set our hearts right."

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Confused about toddler feeding at night

    DS is 2 and has always nursed during the night, but he is wanting to less as he gets older. If everyone is getting enough sleep and it's working for you, stick with it. You'll know when you are both ready to work on night weaning.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
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    Default Re: Confused about toddler feeding at night

    Your LO probably CAN go all night, My dd goes from 7:30 at night until 6:30 AM without a feeding, but she eats a TON during the day , 3 meals MANY snacks (really, probably 3 or 4), 2 nursings, several cups of cows milk at the sitter.
    But, if she woke up at night I would feed her. I think whatever is normal for your family (as long as it is working for your family) is what is best. If you think everyone would get a better quality sleep if lo was night weaned, then maybe that would be a good idea too.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Confused about toddler feeding at night

    DS now 16 months still wakes about 3 times a night to nurse. I know he can sleep through the night and that it is a comfort thing. I notice when he is teething he wakes more too. I'm hoping as he gets older he will wake less. I try not to discuss nursing w pedis and or family members(inlaws) who don't understand. Its just a waste of time and energy for me. I would like a few more hours of sleep but I feel I'm doing what is right for us. Good luck. I've heard many moms use Dr Gordon's method w success.
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    Mommy to Alexander
    Born Oct 6,2006


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